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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » Bee or Bicycle for Card Magic? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Profile of lcwright1964
I am coming back to magic as a middle-aged man after fiddling with it as a pre-teen. I know that Boomers and GenXers make like being a youth in the low-tech sixties, seventies, and eighties was such a wonderful, simpler time, but I can only say that if I had the internet when I was twelve I probably would have stuck with the magic hobby a lot more. What a great way to get glorious info and advice from so many so quickly.

Anyway, I have the hand size and the patience now to learn card sleights properly today, so I was keen to canvass a very simple issue. In practice, and in performing where you bring your own cards, which do you use?

I work with poker size cards since the bridge size are already easy for me to handle, even after all these years. I can see pros and cons for using cards with and without a white border on the back.

For example, I love Bee cards simply because I love the back pattern, and the lack of a border is great for covering second deals, side steals and palming where the edge of the palmed card might be fleetingly visible in the space between my right thumb and forefinger, and getting breaks to set up for double- and triple-lifts, reverses, top card palms, and the like. The borderless back really masks obvious jogging during a false overhand shuffle.

However, white-bordered pasteboards, like Bicycle seem to be a lot more forgiving at other times. For example, I discovered with Bee cards that I had to execute a Braue reversal much more slowly lest a diamond-backed edge jog out even for a millisecond to give away the sleight. Moreover, the white border really helps in camouflaging a double lift when turned should the face up cards misalign slightly upon flipping.

I am seeing bordered cards almost exclusively in online videos, so I suppose I have my answer already. That said I really like using the Bee in tricks when I want to deal seconds in my still-unrefined way with lots of cover. Apart from the attractive pattern (I am partial to the blue ones), I don't have many good reasons to prefer Bee over Bicycle.


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Profile of Bulla
I like bee cards as well, but I usually always lean towards a bordered back design while performing.
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Atlanta by way of Detroit
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Profile of motown
I prefer Bikes because of the versatility of cards available.
"If you ever write anything about me after I'm gone, I will come back and haunt you."
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Profile of professorwhut
Bike 90% of the time.
Tally Ho 10% of the time.
After much soul searching about a signature, I decided not to have one.

TG Pop [aka ProfessorWhut]
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Profile of neemdog
Sounds like you're already discovering when a Bee works better than a Bike and a Bike better than a Bee. Even pros use borderless cards to disguise sleights like second and bottom deals more effectively.

But, like you've pointed out, it depends on what you're doing with them--I personally have no routines that require a borderless back design. I make lots of use of reversals and secret additions.

Personally, when I'm practicing, I use various decks with interesting back designs for my own excitement. When I'm performing, I use red bikes.

I'd take a look at my repertoire, and if it would benefit from a borderless deck, then I'd go for a borderless deck--they're still recognizable to audiences.
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Profile of lcwright1964
Thanks everyone! I have done a little further reading and research, and it looks like that bordered decks are preferred--Giobbi certainly says so at the very beginning of Card College, which I just discovered--and Bikes seem to prevail. This is good news, as they are everywhere and can be quite inexpensive when bought in bulk (I have been getting 4-packs, two black and two red, at Wal-Mart for under 10 bucks, and I guess the serious practitioners here get them by the case).

I have been reworking a favourite trick from my boyhood, Charles Miller's Dunbury Delusion as described in Expert Card Technique, which with the "Scarne on Card Tricks" and Hay's "Amateur Magician's Handbook" formed my modest magic library in those days. I lacked the maturity or flexibility as a kid to deviate from the published recipe, but recently I have been toying with Dunbury so that the discovery of the actual selected card comes about by some means other than dealing seconds. (Right now, the Braue reversal is my favourite sleight, so reversing the actual card while doing cuts to search for the wrongly "computed" card is what I am working on.) That said, I should learn how to deal seconds properly and confidently with a bordered deck. Messy technique is practically invisible with the Bee back, and I am sure I have developed bad habits.
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Profile of JoshTmagic
I personally love Bicycle playing cards and use them for every performance! I think I used bee styled playing cards once during a performance in my opinion bees are great for gambling sleights and byicycles are good for other sleights and effects I also think bicycle is more familiar to most audiences which can lower there suspicions of a trick deck
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Profile of Kbuck54
I am partial to red back bicycle when performing. I do have a bunch of other decks that are real nice, ( Blue Crown, nostalgia, collector decks of all different designed), These are for my own use, I never perform an effect with them. People instantly suspect the unfamiliar decks.
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